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Southern California Gardening: Fall Container Magic

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Lowe’s Southern California gardening contributor shares some creative tips and ideas for fall containers.

Coleus and sweet potato vine in container

By Bonnie Jo Manion

Fall is my favorite season. I love the abundance of orange, yellow, toffee, chocolate, and black. A large concrete planter (above) brims with fall interest thanks to crimson coleus and black sweet potato vine.

You can get creative with fall colors using branches, greens, grasses, gourds, pumpkins, herbs, and much more in your containers, pots, and window boxes. In fact your containers might morph into baskets, garden carts, and salvage pieces to make your vignettes more interesting.

Fall storefront window box

Another great example of fall container creativity is this storefront window box. Long and narrow, it teems with rust-colored mums (Chrysanthemum spp.) beginning to bloom; upright rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis); simple trailing ivy (Hedera spp.); and textured blue fescue (Festuca glauca) on the end. A medium-size pumpkin symbolizes fall.

fall container planted with grass, mum, and pumpkin

A stand-alone container provides fall interest with tall fountain grass (Pennisetum spp.) and flanking yellow mums. Faux fall-hue leaves and berries are easy, low-maintenance additions that provide a soft touch for a carefully placed pumpkin.

Apple gourd

Plan ahead and grow your own different and interesting gourds in your garden. You can use gourds year after year if you store them dried, intact, and whole in a cool, dry space. One of my favorite gourds is Solanum ‘Apple Gourd’. When harvested from the vine, it’s green and very heavy with water weight. Eventually it dries, and turns into a mellow toffee color, perfect for fall containers and settings.

Asian mustard, ‘Red Giant’

Besides mums don’t forget other great fall container additions such as Asian mustard green (Brassica juncea ‘Red Giant’), rudbeckia, marigold (Tagetes spp.), and sunflower (Helianthus spp.).

Fall certainly is a bewitching time. Try using some of these creative ideas in your fall containers, pots, and vignettes, and the stunning results will be magical.

See more Southern California Gardening Articles.